Tuesday, January 24, 2017

News From Congressman Eliot L. Engel

Engel Statement On MTA Plans to Expand Testing For Sleep Apnea  

Renews push for implementation of Positive Train Control on railways

Washington D.C.—Congressman Eliot L. Engel, a top member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, released the following statement regarding MTA plans to expand testing for sleep apnea across all divisions:

“The MTA’s proposal to expand sleep apnea testing is a good step in helping to identify issues that may affect some of our engineers and conductors. Safety in our train system is paramount, and we should be doing all we can to ensure our passengers are at not at risk when utilizing rail travel. But what we really need to prevent future rail accidents is Positive Train Control (PTC).

“In 2008, the U.S. Congress passed legislation requiring PTC implementation, which I supported and voted to enact.  Today we are approaching a decade since that legislation was passed, and still railways in the busy Northeast Corridor are without this vital, lifesaving technology. According to the Federal Railroad Administration, PTC technology  is ‘capable of reliably and functionally preventing train-to-train collisions, over speed derailments, incursions into established work zone limits, and the movement of a train through a main line switch in the wrong position.’ As the tragic incidents of trail derailments continue to occur across the country, it is obvious that more could and should be done to improve rail safety. We need to upgrade our rail lines and retrofit all our trains with PTC technology, and we need to do it immediately.”

Rep. Engel Statement in Opposition of H.R. 7

  Congressman Eliot L. Engel, a top member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and a member of the House Pro Choice Caucus, released the following statement on H.R. 7, No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, which the House passed this afternoon:

“House Republicans have chosen once again to target women’s personal freedoms, just days after hundreds of thousands filled D.C.’s streets to defend them. The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, which I vehemently oppose and voted against, expands and makes permanent abortion coverage bans. As a result, women seeking abortions are cut off from care on account of where they get insurance or where they live. Policies like this are even more harmful for low-income families and women of color.

“Congress should not determine what is best for a woman’s health. As a proud participant in this weekend’s Women’s March, I regret that House Republicans have once again targeted women in this dangerous way.”

Rep. Engel on House Republicans’ Refusal to Act on Paris Climate Agreement

Congressman Eliot L. Engel, a top member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, offered an amendment to the Republican Authorization and Oversight Plan of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, for the 115th Congress. The amendment would have required the Committee to consider actions needed to meet our obligations under the Paris Climate Agreement. 

“The Republican plan for the new Congress says nothing about how our national energy policy should prevent or mitigate the effects of climate change,” Engel said.“My amendment would have added language to ensure that the Committee considers actions needed to meet our obligations under the Paris Agreement. Sadly, my suggested language was voted down, as partisan politics once again got in the way of protecting our environment and our children’s future.

“The Paris Agreement was a historic moment in the fight against climate change by establishing a strong global consensus to reduce carbon pollution and set the world on a path to a clean-energy future. We have an opportunity to implement policies that encourage American businesses to invest in new technologies and drive innovation, but my Republican colleagues remain singularly focused on the fossil fuel industry. To ignore such a large component of energy and climate policy is an enormous mistake.”

As President Trump and the Republican Party prepares to boost fossil fuel production, a new Pew Research Center poll finds that 65 percent of Americans would rather the U.S. focus on developing clean energy. 

The Engel amendment was defeated 21-30 on a party-line vote.

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